The best Beats headphones
Beats headphones are more than simple audio equipment. They've become both a fashion accessory, and a symbol of how serious you are about your music. Beats is a headphone brand developed by rapper and music mogul Dr. Dre. He started the line to provide a high-quality sound experience for music lovers, and he succeeded.
The following buying guide is designed to provide the best advice for choosing Beats headphones. We've also included reviews of a few favorites. We think you'll be impressed by our Best of the Best pick, the Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones, and their 40-hour full charge battery life.
Considerations when choosing Beats headphones
Over-the-ear models offer the largest ear-pieces. Although they're heavier than other designs, they fully cover your ears, keeping high-quality audio in, while blocking distracting ambient noise out.
On-the-ear Beats headphones don't cover your ears, but sit gently atop them. Some find them more comfortable than the over-the-ear option, though they tend to let in more external noise.
In-ear style headphones are the most portable option. They rest inside your ear and feed the sound directly into your ear canal. They are lightweight and have good sound quality, although they let some ambient sound in as well.
Wired vs. wireless
Most Beats headphones are wireless. Wired headphones require that you plug a cord into your listening device, while wireless models are used via a Bluetooth connection. The advantage of wired headphones are a lower price point and no risk of intermittent disconnection. However, wireless models are always improving at maintaining a connection with your devices, and they are more convenient for mobile use.
Over-the-ear headphones are the heaviest, weighing as much as two pounds. On-the-ear models are closer to one and a half pounds. That bulkiness doesn't bother many users, but if you prefer lightweight options, then in-ear Beats are probably best for you.
Wireless Beats headphones run on rechargeable batteries. Over-the-ear and on-the-ear options hold a charge for up to 22 hours. Some run as long as 40 hours if you use them in low-power mode. In-ear headphones have a shorter battery life due to smaller batteries. They last for up to 12 hours on a single charge. If you choose a wired model, then you don't have to worry about battery life.
Beats headphones are designed to work well with almost any Apple product. They are also compatible with Android devices. However, some functions like the microphone and volume control may not work as well (or at all) with Android products.
Noise-cancelling headphones block out exterior noise to improve your listening experience. They do so by mimicking the frequencies heard outside to cancel them out. This is especially useful for those who use their headphones in noisy spaces such as public transportation, or even in an especially busy household.
Some Beats headphones come with a hard shell carrying case. This is convenient for those who travel often with their headphones and want to keep them safe. Protective cases come most often with the more expensive Beats models.
Most Beats headphones cost between $50 and $400. Wired earbuds cost up to $100, while wireless models reach $160. Wired over-the-ear and on-the-ear models cost as much as $180. The range for wireless versions of over-the-ear and on-the-ear Beats is between $180 and $400.
Q. What type of Beats headphones are best to use during exercise?
A. Wireless headphones are more convenient than wired models during any physical activity. As for which style is best, earbuds are the most popular for working out because they are smaller and lighter than other styles.
Q. Which Beats headphones style is the most comfortable?
A. The answer to that question is different for everyone. Over-the-ear headphones are good for people who want little or no contact between the equipment and their ears. On-the-ear models are best for users who like to feel the light cushion of the headphones on their outer ear. Earbuds are the most comfortable for those who prefer all of the contact to be at the entrance of the ear canal. Those with smaller ear canals may find earbuds uncomfortable.
Beats headphones we recommend
Best of the best: Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones
Our take: Best style, sound quality, and features of all Beats models.
What we like: A rich soundscape, and quick battery charging feature that can give you three hours of use with just a 10 minute charge.
What we dislike: A high price tag, but worth the extra money.
Best bang for your buck: Beats urBeats3 Earphones
Our take: Surprising sound quality for a great price.
What we like: This model comes with either a lightning connection or a 3.5 mm connection, as well as a multitude of color options.
What we dislike: They are not wireless, and some users complain that sound quality was better on the previous generation of these earphones.
Our take: Noise cancellation and sound quality that make you feel like you're on your own private musical journey.
What we like: The over-the-ear design keeps all of the deep bass and detailed treble inside, where they belong.
What we dislike: The headphones can become uncomfortable after long periods of listening.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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